community in active discussion and analysis of these points in order to move forward with a strong consensus.
Comment 7: Reflections on the Strategic Planning Process
When I agreed to serve as a faculty representative on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, I felt a need to champion two major issues that I perceived were important to include in the strategic planning process: (1) the need to increase the size of the university's endowment and to utilize it to attract the brightest and best students to UIU; and (2) the need to examine the workload of the faculty and to bring it in line with the workload of the faculty at comparable institutions. These weren't necessarily my ideas; rather, they were shamelessly acquired from numerous conversations that I have had with respected colleagues. I believe that they are absolutely essential to include in the strategic plan if we want to aspire to the vision statement that "Upper Iowa University will be recognized and respected as an exceptional and ascending institution of higher learning". I tried in numerous ways to incorporate these two issues as strategic goals in the plan. First, I had these listed as Strategic Responses in a white paper that I, and others, put together in June for the Steering Committee. However, these issues fell through the cracks as members of the Steering Committee winnowed through this paper and concluded that other objectives were more important. I continued to push, particularly for the faculty workload issue, in a memo to Steering Committee members as sub-gropups were writing the first draft of the plan. I think it is safe to say that I was quite vocal during Steering Committee meetings, trying to stress that these issues not be neglected. As I view the current plan, it is obvious to me that I was not successful in my original mission. Having said that, I do want to acknowledge that many good things were incorporated into the plan. It was a privilege to work with dedicated members of this institution and discuss the future of Upper Iowa University. I am still trying to fathom what went awry with my efforts. Likely I am naive in my understanding of how a strategic planning process works. However, I've been told numerous times that this is an iterative process. So with this in mind, I will try to reiterate why I think these issues belong in the strategic plan.
In June, "The Chronicle of Higher Education" reported on the closing of the residential campus of Antioch College (which has profitable "extended university" centers similar to UIU). Reasons cited for the closure were "dwindling enrollment and expensive campus maintenance" and the fact that the campus "could lean on only a small endowment of $36.2-million". The parallels to UIU are unnerving - except it is my understanding (and I could be wrong) that our endowment is smaller than this. When I asked why increasing the endowment at UIU was not being written into the plan, I was told that a Vice- President will be hired at UIU in the near future that will address this issue. However, I do not believe that is a reason to omit the endowment from the plan. Also, it appears that increases in enrollment will result in incoming cash flow. It appears that money now is available to build new buildings at new centers. I am curious as to whether any of this new money has been ear-marked for increasing the endowment. I truly feel that, if the